The following is an extract of a passage spoken by Arten, found in the book Your Immortal Reality:
Keep in mind that we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with the idea [of be in the now] that there may be some good in focusing on the now rather than the past or the future. The quality of life would be improved. The problem is that doing so cannot remove the unconscious guilt over the original separation from God that’s still hidden in the deep recesses of the mind. Because of that, it makes each experience of being in the now temporary by definition, because it fails to remove the blocks that prevent that experience from being permanent. All of which is to say that there’s not just a minor difference between the approach of The Power of Now and the real power of A Course in Miracles. It’s the difference between being temporarily in the now of an illusion, or being permanently in the presence of reality.
It’s absolutely essential to remember that unless and until all unconscious guilt is removed from the mind, you cannot stay in the endless present on a permanent basis. It’s impossible. Any attempt to remain in the now is doomed to failure without doing the work of true forgiveness. Until you’ve completely forgiven that which you made and projected outside of yourself, you are not forgiven in your own unconscious mind, and until you are, the cycle of birth and death cannot be broken. Being in the now does not heal your unconscious guilt and undo the ego. True forgiveness*, on theater hand, removes the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence that is your natural state of being, undoing the ego completely and making it possible to remain in the eternal “always” simply because that’s all that’s left. Here’s some of what J [Jesus] says about this important issue in his Course:
“You are invulnerable because you are guiltless. You can hold on to the past only through guilt. For guilt establishes that you will be punished for what you have done, and thus depends on one-dimensional time, proceeding from past to future. No one who believes this can understand what “always” means, and therefore guilt must deprive you of the appreciation of eternity. You are immortal because you are eternal, and “always” must be now. Guilt, then, is a way of holding past and future in your mind to ensure the ego’s continuity. For if what has been will be punished, the ego’s continuity is guaranteed. Yet the guarantee of your continuity is God’s not the ego’s. And immortality is the opposite of time, for time passes away, while immortality is constant.
*The true forgiveness given by Jesus is unique in the sense that it is not forgiving what others have done wrong but rather on the contrary, forgiving them for the wrong they have not done. The “wrong they have done “is merely our own perception, our own judgement, and this very idea has never left our space of experience in the very first place, to mean it is originated from the mind which we are experiencing, hence the “wrong” is actually our own meaning. The following link will further confirms what the above teaching is about:
On another note, my buddhist meditation teacher has constantly reminded me that awareness, or mindfulness, alone is not enough, to mean “being in the now” is not sufficient to uproot what is already in the mind. He takes the practice one step further by stating that right idea or information at the background, to mean Right View, with the presence of wisdom in our observing mind, enables what is defiled to end. Defiled, or defilements (kilesas in Pali) are blocks that prevent one from realizing reality, or Truth.